Arts & entertainment
1 min

Gatineau’s growing queer pub scene

Microbrewery Gainsbourg adds a monthly pub night

Luc Pigeault hosts Gainsbourg Légionnaire in Gatineau the second Sunday of each month.

Credit: Luc Pigeault

Like so many reluctant heroes — from Wolverine to Tyrion Lannister — 32-year-old Luc Pigeault was content with his life before it became clear that his community needed him.

“I’m gay, so the owner of Gainsbourg, the microbrewery where I work, approached me and asked what I thought about starting a gay night,” Pigeault says. “It’s not something I was thinking about.”

Working as a photographer and bartender in the Old Hull region of Gatineau, Pigeault wasn’t endlessly trying to figure out his origin or carousing in Lannisport when the offer came to him. But given the opportunity to begin a must-attend event, he jumped to action.

In March 2014, he started Gainsbourg Légionnaire, a queer pub night that takes place the second Sunday of each month. Amid Gainsbourg’s rustic décor, mixed crowds have enjoyed the night, and attendance has grown with each passing month.

“There hasn’t been anything for the gay community in Old Hull for years,” Pigeault says. “People would usually cross the bridge to Ottawa, but I think now they’re happy to have a place on the Quebec side.”

While Gainsbourg Légionnaire has been around for only about six months, its success has encouraged the rookie party promoter to start a second recurring queer club night in Old Hull. Most of the details have yet to be decided, but the first event will happen Saturday, Sept 27. As details are solidified, they will be announced on the Gainsbourg Légionnaire Facebook page.

While Pigeault is too modest to think of himself as any sort of hero, his hard work and bravery may be helping Old Hull to become a more vibrant, accepting place.

“It used to be more grimy and violent. Now it’s becoming more colourful, and we’re trying to bring it back to life, and I think bringing gay nights back to the neighbourhood would really help,” he says. “If you put it in their faces, they’re going to get used to it faster.”